Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.
Subscribe

The 15 Best Albums of 2009 that You Probably Will Not Like

December 11, 2009 By: Category: Best of 2009, Greatest Hits, Lists, Music

2009-header

If you had asked me to list my favorite albums of the year in, say, October, I would have told you that this was one of the best years for music in ages and I could hardly choose between all my favorites. If you had asked me to list my favorite albums of the year this week, (which you did, as you’ll recall–I think we were at Arby’s), I would tell you that nothing really stood out. Albums that I thought were masterpieces upon first listen (The Decemberists’ The Hazards of Love, Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon: The End of the Day) quickly reached their saturation points. Artists I love released albums that barely warranted a second spin (Tegan and Sara’s Sainthood, The Hidden Cameras’ Origin: Orphan).

My appreciation for this year’s releases has been slightly dulled by the sheer number of new records I picked up this year. According to iTunes, I currently own 69 records that were released in 2009. That is over 2 days worth of music. I could listen to my 2009 releases from start to finish for 48 hours straight and not hear every song on every album. It is just too easy in this age of digital downloads to go overboard and pick up everything that’s garnering a slight amount of buzz. Also, I have a serious problem. It’s this or Home Shopping Network, and I don’t really have anyplace to keep hundreds of souvenir plates.

All that being said, I still maintain that in terms of quality releases, this year saw a greater percentage than many. We’ll have to wait and see whether I’ll still be listening to any of these records next year, but for the time being, here it is. As you read this list, please keep in mind that I would never give this list to anyone and say, “buy these records.” I can’t tell you how many of my friends I tried to turn on to Los Campesinos!, my favorite record of the last five years, who think it is garbage. I don’t think I have the most eclectic taste in the world, but I do like to give everything a fair shake, and this sometimes leads to me liking music that my hip friends find too mainstream and my mainstream friends find too hip. (Note: I do not have any mainstream friends.) In other words, stuff that no one likes. Enjoy! (more…)

My Week of Many Shows Part 3: The Antlers/Timber Timbre at the Bootleg Theater

November 02, 2009 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Music

The Antlers - HospiceThe night started out with great promise. I met Sarah at the Cha-Cha Lounge, a bar in Silverlake that has a photo booth and a vending machine filled with things like Big League Chew and Growing Pains trading cards. Our friend Mark was having a going away party because he’s moving to Seattle. Mark is one of those people who really makes you doubt the existence of karma. He’s among the nicest guys I know, but he finds himself in the middle of awful, completely unprovoked disasters on an almost daily basis. When his truck was stolen out of his driveway a few weeks ago, he decided it was time that his romance with L.A. come to an end. A week after the truck was stolen, he got a ticket in the mail from the state of California. Whoever stole the truck went through a toll booth without paying. No word yet on what Mark’s going to do about the ticket, but I’m sure it will come back to haunt him somehow.

For Mark’s going away party, he’d asked the bartender if he could play nothing but Chicago and the Doors. Chicago, because he’s from Chicago, and the Doors, because they are the musical equivalent of Los Angeles. The bartender said no at first because he was afraid the regulars would be turned off, but he changed his tune when Mark promised him $30. Mark had decided to add America to the mix as well, because we live in America. He told me that night that America is actually not from America, which I never knew. Actually, I just looked it up on Wikipedia, and they were sort of from America; they met at school in London, where their fathers were stationed in the Air Force. I just spent the last five minutes reading up on America on All Music Guide. You can really fall down a rabbit hole when you start clicking around on All Music Guide. Did you know they released an album in 2007 produced by Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger and James Iha from the Smashing Pumpkins? And that it sounds kind of amazing?

(more…)

New Muesday – 9/8/2009

September 08, 2009 By: Category: Greatest Hits, New Muesday

muesday-header

Hey there champies! I’ve been outta commission for awhile, throwing glamorous parties in New York and staging protests outside of my local public school to stop Obama from indoctrinating our school children into his Communist trans-gender agenda, but now I’m back to talk about the latest additions to my iTunes. Let’s get down to it, boppers!

1) The Antlers: Hospice
Date added: 9/4/2009

The Antlers - HospiceHOLY G*DDAMN MOTHERF*CKING APE-FIST*NG PEE CLOWN, this is a great record! Okay, so full disclosure: I never really got swept up in the whole Arcade Fire phenomenon. I really want to love Funeral as much as everyone else does, but there’s something about it that feels disingenuous to me. Maybe not disingenuous … that might not be the right word. It just has all the trappings of being an emotionally sweeping epic, but something about it seems cold … the same feeling I get from Beck and TV on the Radio. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t make me feel that buzz in my tingly parts the way I think it should.

(more…)